Thermage

The Thermage procedure is a non-invasive, little or no-downtime treatment that aims to deliver tighter skin, renewed facial contours and healthier collagen. Some times described as non-surgical facelift.

At the heart of Thermage is the patented Thermacool TC system. This sophisticated device enable doctors to deliver energy deeper in the skin than conventional laser therapy.

Suitability for any patient for the Thermage procedure is decided only after careful consideration of their wishes and expectations. The plastic surgeon at The Renacres Hall Hospital will help assess the degree of skin laxity and recommend exactly where the thermage procedure could tighten up skin and renew the contours of the face. This procedure is most suitable for those with early ageing changes, (age 35 to 60) It is not a substitute for surgery.

This procedure has also been shown in some studies to be an effective therapy for moderate to severe active acne. While it will not cure the condition it can, in selected cases, reduce the incidence and severity of recurrence.

Skin is made up of two layers, the visible thin outer layer called the epidermis, and the deeper layer called the dermis. The main structural component of the dermis is a protein called collagen, which provides the skin its strength. As we age, the body produces less collagen resulting in wrinkles and laxity. The Thermage procedure causes the collagen in the dermal layers of the skin and its underlying tissue to tighten, thereby; without surgery, reducing skin laxity and wrinkles and renewing facial contours.

The Thermage procedure for Skin Tightening uses patented radiofrequency technology to create a precisely controlled zone of heating in the dermis and the underlying tissue. At the same time the epidermis is protected with continual cooling. Heating of the collagen to critical temperatures, initiates a natural biological reaction that causes the collagen to contract and thicken. This process, called denaturation, provides the initial results of tighter, smoother looking skin. In addition, the body also initiates a second response to heating within the dermis and underlying tissue. This response is part of the body’s natural wound-healing response and initiates new collagen creation over the next 3 to 6 months, providing long-term tightening of the skin. The combination of these two processes, provide immediate skin tightening and long-term tightening effects.

We are receiving requests for information about Thermage. If you would like to know more, book an initial consultation to discuss what Thermage could offer you.

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Risks

Texture Changes / Surface Irregularities

Thermage has received a low incidence (reported less than 0.2% of the total estimated number of treatments) of reports citing the development of focal “surface irregularities”. Such reports have been received for treatments that have been performed in the forehead, and mid/lower face areas. These surface irregularities have been variously described as “small dents in the surface of the skin” (localized) and “rippling”, “ridging” or “waffle patterns” (covering a larger surface area). Frequently these irregularities are not present immediately post-treatment but show up later (1 or more months post-treatment). In a few cases these symptoms have resolved over the course of time.

Burns, Blisters, Scabbing, Scarring

The procedure may produce heating in the upper layers of the skin causing burns and subsequent blister and scab formation. Burns have been reported at a rate less than 0.3%. There is a small chance of scar formation (rare). Scars may be raised or slightly depressed. Deployment of the technology over areas where metal objects may be present is done with caution to avoid burns. Please inform doctor of such sites (e.g. dental fillings, metal plates, etc.).

Texture Changes / Surface Irregularities

Thermage has received a low incidence (reported less than 0.2% of the total estimated number of treatments) of reports citing the development of focal “surface irregularities”. Such reports have been received for treatments that have been performed in the forehead, and mid/lower face areas. These surface irregularities have been variously described as “small dents in the surface of the skin” (localized) and “rippling”, “ridging” or “waffle patterns” (covering a larger surface area). Frequently these irregularities are not present immediately post-treatment but show up later (1 or more months post-treatment). In a few cases these symptoms have resolved over the course of time.

Bruising

In very rare cases, the treatment may cause bruising which typically dissipates within several days.

Erythema / Blanching

The treated area may become temporarily red (erythema) or white (blanching). Erythema typically resolves within a few hours, however, on rare occasions, has been seen to last longer (up to several weeks), blanching typically resolves within twenty-four hours.

Swelling

The treated area may swell. Swelling typically resolves in three to five days or less but can persist up to several weeks.

Pain

Most people will feel some heat-related discomfort (pain) with the treatment. This discomfort is usually temporary during the procedure and localized within the treatment area. A small number of patients have reported transient aching in the treatment area (lasting up to several weeks). In addition, a small number of patients have reported headaches following forehead treatment.

Altered Sensation

Thermage has received a low incidence (reported less than 0.1% of the total estimated number of treatments) of reports of focal, transient altered sensation, variously described as “numbness”, “tingling” or “temporary paralysis”. These cases have typically resolved in a short period of time but in a few cases have persisted up to several weeks. Reports have been received with respect to patients treated in the forehead, mid/lower face and neck areas.

Other Unknown Risks

All of the risks of the ThermaCool system are not yet known. Other unexpected risks or complications may occur, and no guarantees or promises can be made concerning the results of the treatment.

Pregnancy & Breast Feeding

The effects of the procedure on women who are pregnant or breast-feeding are unknown and could be harmful. However, there is no evidence that other radiofrequency surgical devices in use for decades have had a significant role in pregnancy.

Auto Immune Diseases

The effect of the procedure on patients with autoimmune disease (eg. lupus) is unknown.

Herpex Simplex

Herpes simplex eruption may result in rare cases in a treated area that has previously been infected with the virus. Reactivation of HSV is generally thought to occur most commonly in the perioral and genital skin areas after various stimuli.

Medication

Patients on steroid treatment and Warfarin are more likely to have problems.

Medical Implants

Pacemakers, defibrillators and internal hearing aids are strict contraindications.

Efficacy

Because all individuals are different, it is not possible to completely predict who will benefit from treatment with the ThermaCool device. Some patients will have very noticeable improvement, while others may have little improvement. It is possible that additional treatments may be needed to achieve the desired end result, or that smaller touch-up procedures may be required.

Off Label Use

Thermage has studied The ThermaCool System in U.S. clinical trials for treatment of facial and periorbital wrinkles and rhytids. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration has currently cleared the ThermaCool System for these indications. All other areas of deployment are considered “off-label” and “investigational”. Thermage is aware of studies that have been conducted internationally for use of the system for skin tightening on arms, abdomen, legs …etc. This body of knowledge, along with the information gained during the initial period of commercial use, is extensive, but not yet sufficient to allow Thermage to determine additional risks that may accompany the use of the Thermage procedure in such “off-label”, investigational areas.

Allergic Reaction

There is a possibility of an allergic reaction to materials used during the Thermage procedure. For example, an allergic reaction to the anaesthesia, to the ink used for marking the skin or any other drugs or substances used during the use of ThermaCool.